Guidelines on communication between biotech companies and their
investors, intended to prevent scandals such as the British Biotech
affair last year, have been welcomed by PR specialists in the
Share prices in the sector collapsed last year after several firms,
including British BioTech, were found to have made exaggerated claims
about new products which were subsequently not met.
Investors rely entirely on information about research and development in
biotech firms to guide their investments, because the firms have few
products on the market by which success can be judged.
Sue Charles, chief executive of biotech PR specialist HCC De Facto,
said: ’It’s a volatile industry to invest in. It is all about
communications and perception, so honesty and clarity is all
The BioIndustry Association guidelines state that companies must ensure
information is accurate and balanced; only put out information investors
need; ensure all releases are signed by senior personnel; and ensure no
price-sensitive information is published before being announced to the